OUTGOING Member for Lowan Hugh Delahunty has turned the first sod on Horsham's Town Hall redevelopment.
Horsham Mayor David Grimble and Kane Constructions project manager Peter Mann helped mark the official start to construction on the $19.6-million project.
A small crowd gathered at the construction site at 9am to watch the historic moment.
The sod-turning has been almost five years in the making.
In March 2009, Horsham Rural City Council announced it had applied for up to $6 million through the Federal Government's Regional and Local Communities Infrastructure Program.
Back then, the redevelopment was estimated to cost $12 million.
There have since been a number of project designs, community meetings, two Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal cases and multiple cost increases.
The final total project cost of more than $19.6 million includes a new 501-seat auditorium, art gallery education space and streetscape works in Pynsent and Wilson streets.
"The project will deliver a modern, central hub for the Horsham community," Mr Delahunty said.
Demolition of the town hall supper room started on Wednesday afternoon.